There are many ministry principles that guide us as we minister overseas. Perhaps the dearest to us are the four core ministry principles of patience, independence, accountability and integrity. Scroll down to see an expanded explanation of how each core value affects our ministry.
Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10 NASB
Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others” 1 Tim 5:22 NASB
1) We believe long-term results happen in the course of long-term ministry. To have a lasting impact on someone’s life (a.k.a. ministry), one must have a relationship with that person. To have a relationship with a person, you must first speak their language and identify with their culture. A solid foundation that nurtures trusting relationships, sets the stage for lasting ministry influence.
2) We believe that following God’s direction and trusting Him to direct our relationships is the best way to insure lasting success in ministry. We strive not to hurry out in front of God’s leading or lag behind. There is no other way to do this than to develop our relationship with Him and stay close.
3) Working in a culture that is not the one in which you grew up and communicating in a language that is not your mother tongue is tricky at best. There is no substitute for taking the time to do the job right in order to have the longest lasting impact.
We believe it imperative to proactively Avoid Dependence and Foster Independence among those with/to whom we minister.
Several key factors include:
Incarnational Ministry: we live among the people to whom we minister. We speak their language, shop where they shop, know their culture and their mentality. This is foundational to avoiding dependence.
Partnerships: we forge partnerships in ministry to allow others to take part spiritually and materially in the ministry. We rarely do anything by ourselves or on our own initiative. Without local involvement of varying degrees, a project is not begun.
Ukrainians First: we refuse to become church planters in Ukraine, but rather church plant facilitators. New churches are started by Ukrainian nationals period! This avoids the drama of attempting to turn over a church to nationals in the future.
Self-supporting: no project or ministry is begun without a view as to how and when it will be able to be supported by local resources. Sometimes that means we are not able to help materially or a ministry needs to begin at a later point in time. We are confident God knows our beginnings and endings, and so we remember core value number one – patience.
Accountability is one of the keys needed to build trusting ministry relationships. The Yodises themselves work for a quality, established ministry that provides accountability on several levels, e.g. with mission leadership and administration, with a team of expats who also work with WorldVenture, and with the churches and individuals who support the Yodis family and ministry with their finances and prayers.
The Yodises also have a long history of working with Ukrainian nationals in both formal and informal relationships with mutual accountability. In years past, this included working through a board and the mission society, Spiritual Renewal of the Donbass. While Spiritual Renewal is no longer a functioning entity, the Yodises partner with other churches and church leaders through structures such as church union associations (denominations).
Money, big money is always, under any circumstances, a seduction, a test of morals, a temptation to sin. – Boris Yeltsin 1994
The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them. Proverbs 11:2-4
Integrity is the congruity of your thoughts, speech and actions, ie. WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get). Understanding that our hearts are “deceitful above all things, and desperately sick;” (Jer. 17:9), it is important to us that the condition of our hearts are compatible with the message we proclaim. Therefore, we strive to live lives of integrity that reflect the Lord whom we serve. There are several key elements we believe are essential to those living lives of integrity:
1) Honesty & Simplicity: Speaking the truth in love is difficult at the time, but our love for people trumps our fear of what they might think of us or how they might respond to us.
2) Genuineness: What you see and hear is what you get. No false pretenses, enthusiasm, or smiles. You won’t have to wonder if we had any hidden meanings in our communications and you won’t have to read between the lines. We try to answer questions honestly and aren’t afraid to say we don’t know.
3) Reality Check: We are comfortable with whom God made us and how He has molded us. Of course, we grow and learn, but we don’t have to become something we aren’t to impress others. For example, Eric is not a church planter even though he has been helpful to many people who have planted churches. We want to help Ukrainian nationals plant churches throughout Ukraine. You won’t hear any hype from us in order to drum up enthusiasm and dollars from our stateside partners. You’ll hear the truth about our joys and triumphs as well as our struggles so you can pray accordingly.
We demand integrity from ourselves and from those with whom we work. This has cost us relationships from time to time and our reputation has been attacked because of it, but we believe without it there would be no basis for ministry partnerships with those who truly want to see the cause of Christ advanced throughout Ukraine and to the uttermost parts of the Ukrainian and Russian speaking world.
I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence. – Frederick Douglas